Monday, March 03, 2014

In Which I Don't Get My Wish

My one, Big Wish for Mr. Greenwald has been that he get himself a really good editor. One who would help him alchemically separate the high-value elements of the actual NSA story from the base elements of his personal grudges and periodic spates of apparently uncontrollable fabulism.  One who could tell him "No" when he needed it, and make it stick.
Get an editor, Mr. Greenwald.
Do it now.
That's what a good editor can do.

But I guess that wasn't what Mr. Greenwald was in the market for:
Among these is a belief in reorganising the newsroom. "We want to avoid this hierarchical, top-down structure where editors are bosses and obstacles to being published," Greenwald explains. "We are trying to make it much more collaborative. Our journalists have a variety of tools to make their writing better and one of them is the editor. We also want journalists to help to hire editors."
Too bad.


Frank Stone said...

Helpful hint to Mr. Greenwald: A mutual masturbation society is not remotely the same thing as a news organization.

Anonymous said...

Cue "O-bot" and "droneglass" in 3... 2... 1...

Yastreblyansky said...

According to the masthead, Mr. Greenwald is an editor himself. It's my belief, as I noted a couple of weeks ago, that constitutes a problem. But the story is not about Mr. Greenwald, right? And if I think it is I've been told to whom I should address myself, and Mr. Gellman is still being allowed by the police state to roam free?

Kathleen said...

Anonymous 3:40 - Dag! You beat me to it! Now here's what we could do. 1) we could do our own troll posts just to steal their thunder. 2) Start betting pool on how long it will take the first troll to appear and who it will be.

Anonymous said...

I did chuckle mightily that the guy most responsible of funding Western agitation in Ukraine turned out to be Greenwald's boss, Odykirk.

Monster from the Id said...

Droneglass, shmoneglass.

"Cap'n Ahab Glass" would be a more appropriate nickname nowadays.

I don't know what he thinks Moby Greenwald did to him, but it's just sad now.

Anonymous said...

Let him run without one. There is no better way to marginalize him, his website, and all the others on it than to allow Greenwald to vomit forth his stream of thoughts without someone there to moderate him down to sanity and truth.

Greenwald is the best fucking thing to happen to the intelligence, defense, and foreign workers community in a long time. Let him roll!

Neo Tuxedo said...

Into every rain, a little life must fall.

I don't know what [Our Host] thinks Moby Greenwald did to him, but it's just sad now.

What he thinks Greenwald did, not just to him, was make the story more about his Greenwaldian self and/or Edward Snowden than about "the all-too-human but curiously error-prone heroes" (TM Doc Pierce) of the Northern Entity (TM Cliff Stoll's Company contact). Unfortunately, there is no way to rebuke Greenwald for making himself the story that doesn't, if kept up too long, drag the focus onto Greenwald. The smart thing to do is what Good Chuck does: remind the reader briefly that the real story is not about the International Man of Luggage and/or what might or might not happen to him, then drag said reader's attention back kicking and screaming to the actually existing malfeasance by our espionage agencies.

Anonymous said...


No, you are wrong. You must always question the motives, beliefs, and values of anybody who ever tells you anything. Because these things bind and govern who they are, what they do, what they say, and how they color it.

Just as nobody should blindly trust anything the intelligence, diplomatic, defense, or hell the general government tells them... as all of these institutions have their own biases and culture, one should not trust Greenwald blindly. We should look at who he is, what his goals and beliefs are, what he has said in the past, and then use that to judge what he says.

Ultimately Greenwald is perhaps more flawed, less trustworthy, has a bigger axe to grind, and more full of crap than the entities he's attacking. Which is a huge fucking problem. Not just for Greenwald, but for all American citizens. Because it means he's so beyond flawed nothing he says can be trusted without serious questions. This is the case for almost all of our "civil libertarian saviors". I could say the same of Rand Paul.

As a liberal that's something I want to avoid. We shouldn't be trying to tear down institutions because of the biased words of some half insane libertarian nut job who's stated goal is to blow up the Democratic party. Instead we should be fighting internally to nominate the best possible candidates to run these institutions in a way that works for us.

Make no mistake, the day the US government lacks the ability to check into and inspect your average citizen or foreign government official, is the day it's utterly toothless to do anything about the ultra rich or the worlds biggest corporations. And that's the fucking end game and why Greenwald is thick as thieves with the worst of the plutocrats.

It's also one of the reasons I'm OK with Obama droning people and wasn't completely with Bush doing it. It's not hypocritical. I'm fine with our government, all of it, when staffed by competent people with a sense of honor, democratic values, and the common good. I'm not OK with it when it's run by cranks, lunatics, and Randian idiots.

There's also a staggering difference between say the Snowden fiasco and the Pentagon Papers... just based on who the leakers were and their own moral compass and values.

Ultimately you need to evaluate the message, the facts, and the parties involved. Consider all three, and then draw your conclusions. Tossing out one because it's uncomfortable tends to lead to your end conclusion being dead fucking wrong and you trying to invalidate arguments against it instead of refuting them through logic. Thus, it means you are full of shit and should be written off as a fool.

bluicebank said...

I continue to be far less interested in any single reporter's need of a good editor when covering a story of such import, as in the story itself. The coverage of which, then, begs for not only good editors, but good publishers. Because let's face it, the broadcast media were a lost cause before Don Henley wrote about the "bubble-head bleached blonde."

I get that DG doesn't like Greenwald. So GG's one jerk covering an invasive army of jerks. The former isn't a threat to civil liberties; the latter is. Can we please move on from Greenwald? He isn't the only reporter on the scene. Mkay?

RossK said...


That comment directly above is the kind of thing I used to see on the Newsblog...Stuff that was posted up by a certain reader of Mr. Gilliard before the latter kicked said reader out of the comment thread nest and told him to set up his own shop.

Or some such thing.


Kathleen said...

Brilliant, Anon @10:32. Thank you for articulating my concerns so well.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but Cinnefastique has a 50th year retrospective podcast on on of your faves, 'Mask of the Red Death'

Fritz Strand said...

My reaction to this story when I first read it a couple of days ago was (honestly) Driftglass is going to slap this forehead over this.

I also expected at least a twenty page response.

Monster from the Id said...

@Anon @10:32 PM

"...when staffed by competent people with a sense of honor, democratic values, and the common good."

Do you still believe in the magic bunny rabbit who brings you colored eggs, too?

n1ck said...


The whole point of these threads, besides the chum thrown out to bait in the Pures™, is that..


HE needs to move on.

Overhead goes a whoosh. Just ignore it. It wasn't anything anyway.

Anonymous said...

People who live in driftglass houses shouldn't ... Your own editorial prowess isn't exactly rigorous. Your writing is often Byzantine in a bad (i.e., not Thomas Browne-like) way.

I'm grateful for Greenwald's work simply because he informs where others only blab or, worse, fudge. I haven't read his books. Don't need to. I accept the lapses on his blogs or blog-ish news posts. It comes with the territory. The point is that he produces facts or assertions of fact, he invites the reader to check them, and he proposes a better than plausible explanation.

Also, Keith Alexander and James Clapper really are dicks. This needs to be shouted from the rooftops, daily, hourly. Fuck, at least Greenwald hammers away at those carcinogenic subhumans.

Anonymous said...

Every writer makes himself the story of his own writing on occasion. Driftglass does the same thing.

Anonymous said...

NSAglass has reasons not to complain about Keith Alexander and James Clapper too much.

Good thing we have Mr Pierce.